(Senior Project Architect – Dewberry)
Originally from Bartlett, IL, I attended the University of Miami in Florida and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture. Since graduation, I have been working in the architecture field, gaining experience in a multitude of project types. I achieved LEED AP accreditation in the spring of 2009 and in the fall of 2012, I passed my final architectural registration exam and became a licensed architect. A resident of Sycamore since 2007, I have a great sense of pride for my community. I value and appreciate the rich history, the notable architecture, and the sense of place it provides. After having the opportunity to work on some major civic structures in the area, I realized how rewarding it was to make such an impact on my community. In 2013 I joined Sharp Architects in DeKalb. In March 2017 I joined Dewberry as a Senior Project Architect. As an architect, I certainly applaud all of the hard work and dedication that has been poured into the Egyptian Theatre to not only keep it open and standing, but historically accurate and functional in a world of ever changing demand. The theatre is truly an architectural treasure, and as a new board member and a new father alike, I look forward to making the theatre as big a part of my family’s life as it has been for so many others in the past.
Dan and his wife Kathy moved to DeKalb in 2014 to be closer to family. Dan taught junior high English and then finished his career in the employee benefit consulting business. His firm, Chapman Schewe Benefits Consulting in Houston, Texas was sold in 2012 and Dan retired. After being very active in the non-profit community in Houston for over thirty years, Dan continues this community service tradition in DeKalb by also serving on the boards of The Jane Adeny Memorial School and Non-Profit Software Corporation. “I believe that being of service to one’s community is vitally important and rewarding work. I will do all that I can to help this wonderful cultural, social and architectural treasure live on.
Treasurer – Kay Riley
Joined in 2012
(Vice President – Hunt Companies)
Kay is a CPA working for the Hunt Companies out of El Paso,Texas, as a Vice President of their Public Private Ventures Development Group. She has 25 years of experience in accounting and finance. Kay has been a Sycamore resident since 2008. She has spent many happy hours volunteering at the Egyptian Theatre as a stage hand, ticket taker, usher, and in many other roles. She has a deep respect for the excellent care and management of the theatre by Alex Nerad and past boards, and she is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of that team.
(Agent – State Farm Insurance)
Brian came to DeKalb via Northern Illinois University in 1977 as a freshman Communication Studies Major. Before arrival to DeKalb, Brian secured a job as a sales person for the campus radio station, WKDI. He had two very late night radio shifts on the station as well. Along with working at WKDI, he was also involved with the then called Holmes Student Center Board where he was in charge of ushers and security for all the concerts at the Duke Ellington Ballroom and Sandburg Auditorium. Through his work at WKDI, Brian volunteered his time with the DeKalb Downtown Association, helping them market and promote business in Downtown DeKalb. This eventually led him to be a charter member of DeKalb Main street, and then ReNew DeKalb. Downtown DeKalb Business has always been a focus for Brian. He was grateful to be asked to be on the Egyptian Theater Board of Directors, as he feels the Egyptian is the main business catalyst for Downtown. “ Being on the Egyptian Board is a natural progression for me, as it allows me to continue my focus of marketing and promoting business to DeKalb’s Central Business District.” Brian has been a State Farm agent since January of 1982, his first job after graduating from NIU. His agency is located on South Fourth St in DeKalb. But his favorite job is being on the Chain Crew for NIU Football!
(Dean of the College of Visual & Performing Arts – Northern Illinois University)
Paul Kassel is the new Dean of the College of Visual & Performing Arts at Northern Illinois University, where he is responsible for the overall administration of the college including its programs and people with a special emphasis on resources (both internal and external), personnel, and planning. From July 2013 – 2015 Dean Kassel was Interim Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at SUNY New Paltz. In addition to NIU and New Paltz, Dean Kassel has worked at SUNY Stony Brook, and Bradley University. In New York City for eleven years as a professional actor, director, and writer, Dean Kassel worked off, and off-off Broadway, in regional theaters, and as a guest artist. In addition, he has appeared in a number of films, several television shows, and industrials. His book, Acting: An Introduction to the Art and Craft of Playing, was published by Allyn & Bacon in spring of 2006. He is currently working on a new book, The Actor’s Path: An Evolutionary Approach to the Art and Craft of Playing that explores the intersection of performance, neuroscience and evolutionary studies. Paul received his M.F.A. in Performance from the Florida State/Asolo Conservatory of Professional Actor Training. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors’ Guild.
(Spanish Teacher – Sandwich High School)
From foreign films to musical acts and local theatrical productions, Kathy Love appreciates that these can all be enjoyed here in DeKalb in such a beautiful and historic venue. She is grateful to the enterprising individuals who came together to form Preservation of the Egyptian Theatre, Inc. (PET), and those who have served on the board over the years, working to keep the doors of the theater open. It would be hard to imagine the downtown without it. Kathy teaches Spanish at Sandwich High School and also works at Christ the Teacher Parish, the Newman Catholic Student Center at NIU, assisting the Director of Religious Education. As an educator, she is pleased that the Egyptian Theatre helps to foster a love of the arts in the community.
(President & Owner – Provident Direct, Inc.)
Jim is the President and Owner of Provident Direct Inc., a Printing and Mailing Services company in Sycamore. Jim has over 20 years of experience in marketing, direct mail and print production. Jim is a DeKalb High School graduate and has been a Sycamore resident since 2005. He previously served as the Treasurer for the Sycamore Youth Baseball league and is currently an assistant coach for the Kishwaukee Valley Storm Softball organization. Jim and his wife Susan have two children, Jack and Hannah, who attend Sycamore schools and are very active in sports. When not working or watching his kids play sports, you are likely to find Jim fishing, golfing or cheering on the Chicago Bulls. Jim believes the Egyptian Theatre is an interesting and unique landmark in DeKalb County and he looks forward to providing business expertise to help its future growth and success.
(Associate Attorney – Foster, Buick, Conklin & Lundgren, LLC)
I grew up in the Somonauk and Sandwich areas, graduating from Sandwich High School before attending university at the University of Illinois at Chicago and later Northern Illinois University College of Law. Now that I am getting settled as an attorney in Sycamore with my husband, our two dogs, and soon our first child, I am eager to establish ties to the community and surrounding areas. The Egyptian Theatre has been something of a fascination with me from the first time I laid eyes on the glorious marquee years ago–perhaps because acting has always held my interest, even leading me to be involved with DeKalb’s Stage Coach Players–and so being on this board and having an opportunity to offer my services is a dream come true for me. The Egyptian is a gem and the amount of work, dedication, care, and respect that has gone into the theatre so far is beyond commendable.
Joined in 2011
When I moved to DeKalb to attend NIU back in the mid-1970s, the Egyptian Theatre was in disrepair. In the later 70s, there were plans for its demolition. I am delighted to have a position on The Egyptian Theatre’s Board almost 40 years later! Before being asked to join the board, I had experienced The Egyptian both on and off stage. This gave me insight into the theatre’s needs. I remember standing on soggy carpeting, in a newly redecorated dressing room. I was preparing to perform at The Egyptian for Stage Coach Player’s HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, shortly after the flood in 2008. So when I was interviewed to join The Egyptian Board in 2011, I spoke of concerns about the basement flooding. The Egyptian Theatre was completing a major renovation at that time; however the basement was not included in that renovation, because the underlying problems were too expensive to tackle. As a Board member, I was ready when the basement flooded again in February 2012. The renovation became my focus. Check out the newly refinished Dressing Rooms. They are certain to be a big hit with the theatrical crowd! Since I’d performed at The Egyptian Theatre with Stage Coach and worked back stage in Dreamers/Annex productions, I came to the board with an interest in strengthening the bond between performers, The Egyptian Theatre and the community. While The Egyptian Theatre’s financial health is dependent on attracting big names to draw in large audiences, I can’t forget the importance of giving back to our local supporters!
(Commercial Real Estate Broker – RVG Commercial)
I am originally from Elgin and moved to Sycamore in the early 90’s. In 2011 I married Mark Sawyer and moved to DeKalb. I am a full time commercial real estate broker with RVG Commercial and hold the SIOR and CCIM designations. I have two adult children, two teenage stepchildren and two grandsons. I love the outdoors, have hiked the Grand Canyon, submitted Half Dome, jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, paddled a class five rapids and have a long bucket list of things yet to accomplish. Since I like to be involved in my community, I am currently serving on three boards: SIOR (Society of Industrial Office Realtors) as Admissions & Recruitment Co-Chair for the Chicago chapter, ReNew DeKalb; Executive Board and Board of Directors, St. John’s Lutheran Church; Stewardship, Outreach and numerous committees, and have served on numerous other boards including: Sycamore History Museum; President and Board of Directors, DeKalb Area Association of Realtors: Board of Directors, Treasurer & numerous committees. I love this community and look forward to serving on the Egyptian Theatre’s Board